In order to determine the leading phase of the Fe - 4.25% C eutectic alloy, the method of directional crystallization, which allows to study the character of the solid / liquid growth front, was used. Examined eutectic was directionally solidified with a constant temperature gradient of G = 33,5 K/mm and growth rate of v = 125 μm/s (450 mm/h). The Bridgman technique was used for the solidification process. The sample was grown by pulling it downwards up to 30 mm in length. The alloy quenched by rapid pulling down into the Ga-In-Sn liquid metal. The sample was examined on the longitudinal section using a light microscope and scanning electron microscope. The shape of the solid/liquid interface and particularly the leading phase protrusion were revealed. The formation of the concave – convex interface has been identified in the quasi-regular eutectic growth arrested by quenching. The cementite phase was determined to be a leading phase. The total protrusion d is marked in the adequate figure.
Directional solidification of the Fe - 4,3 wt % C alloy was performed with the pulling rate equal to v=83 μm/s. Sample was frozen during solidification to reveal the shape of the solid/liquid interface. Structures eutectic pyramid and spherolitic eutectic were observed. The solidification front of ledeburite eutectic was revealed. The leading phase was identified and defined.